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District 87

Bloomington District 87 school board member Mary Yount, right, presents a report Wednesday, March 13, 2019, during a board meeting at the district's offices.

BLOOMINGTON — The Bloomington District 87 school board on Wednesday approved a reduction in force affecting six part-time teachers, three paraprofessionals and two probationary teachers.

The reduction in force is something that happens every year in March or April to meet requirements for adequate notification of employees facing layoffs.

Although the number is relatively small compared to some years, Superintendent Barry Reilly said, “The bad news is for those who are affected, it's very personal, it's emotional and that's not lost on us.”

He said, “In some cases, we'll be able to offer the positions back.”

However, by the time the district knows about grant funding or enrollment numbers to make those offers, the affected people might have already accepted positions elsewhere — even though District 87 would like to have kept them.

In the past, the district has kept some people who were subject to grant funding and ate the cost if the grant didn't come through. However, given the current financial climate, “we don't feel it's appropriate to do that,” he said after the meeting.

Reilly said the district recently received word that property assessments have declined again, weakening the tax base.

In another matter, the board discussed the calendar for the 2019-20 school year, which will be acted on in April.

Under the current draft, the first day of class would be Aug. 19 and spring break would be March 23-27, 2020.

Reilly said it is still unclear what the state will require for “partial attendance” days. Several bills are pending. It could leave less time for professional development on those partial attendance days, he said.

The draft calendar includes two teacher institute days with no school for students and three in-service half days with early student dismissal.

Wolf said there will be credit recovery programming for both junior high and high school students this summer. The program will include breakfast, working with teachers who will be there in the fall, then lunch, followed by dismissal.

Wolf said it is important to build relationships between students and the school they will be attending.

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Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota

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Education Reporter

Education Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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